Publicis Zurich stages first joint campaign for Sunrise and UPC

The merger of the two telco companies has been a weighty topic in Switzerland for months. Since Monday, Sunrise and UPC have been appearing together in public for the first time. Matthias Koller and David Lübke from Publicis Zurich talk to about the launch campaign implemented by the agency.


The focus of the large-scale merger campaign of Sunrise and UPC is not only the merger itself, but above all what Switzerland can expect from it: more speed, more connectivity, more entertainment and more service. At the same time, both brands are still highly visible. David Lübke, Creative Director at Publicis, explains the joint appearance: "The two-part visuals and the use of split screen in the film give both brands the space and freedom they deserve. At the same time, it becomes unmistakably clear: from now on, we are doing things together here. So the main message is always also an integral part of the different formats. In this way, we kill several birds with one stone."


Stefan Fuchs, CMO of the new joint company, also emphasizes that the whole is more than the sum of its parts - although this campaign is, of course, just the beginning: "It is primarily intended to convey the immediate added value that UPC and Sunrise customers - and all those who will soon be - will receive as a result of the merger and will continue to receive in the coming months. Among other things, more speed for home, office and on the move through the UPC Giganetz or 5G from Sunrise. In addition, we are giving our customers various benefits as part of the launch campaign, such as a lifetime We Connect SIM with unlimited data volume or MySports Pro for nine months. A unique plus on the Swiss market." In addition, there are other advantages resulting from the merger, such as a more comprehensive service, more solutions for companies and other combined offers. Andreas Caluori, Director Brand Management & Communications, adds that both existing and new customers can look forward to attractive offers: "This is certainly just the beginning on our joint path to becoming the new champion."


Together - in front of and behind the scene

Together" took on a central role in the development of the campaign not only in front of the scene, but also behind it, explains Matthias Koller, Managing Director at Publicis: "The collaboration with originally two different companies - we quickly realized - was no longer a collaboration at all. Both UPC and Sunrise integrated very quickly and acted as a single partner for us. For us as an agency, this very quickly brought clarity to the process. This was particularly helpful because there were only three months between briefing and delivery."

The large-scale merger campaign will be played out on all channels from Monday.


"If you interpret that as a dig at the competition, I think there's something to that"

Publicis Managing Director Matthias Koller and Creative Director David Lübke are responsible on the agency side for the merger campaign of Sunrise and UPC. Johannes Hapig from talked to them about working in lockdown, tight deadlines and room for interpretation.

Matthias Koller (left) and David Lübke of Publicis Zurich on the new joint campaign by Sunrise and UPC. Your campaign for the merger of Sunrise and UPC is dedicated to a topic that is being watched enormously closely by the media and the public. Does this increase the pressure to deliver? 

Matthias Koller: No, that's not why the pressure is increasing. We have to deliver on every project, just as our customers have to do - no matter how big or small the project may be. The fact that such a large campaign attracts more media attention, and thus more attention for the campaign, is a wonderful confirmation for all those who work on such an intensive project and pursue a common goal: The best result for the client and entertaining communication for the viewers.

David Luebke: It was already clear to us at the briefing that this would be a very high-profile event. Of course, especially with a high level of public interest, you want to get everything right the first time - there's no such thing as a second first impression. In that respect, this was really a bit more pronounced than usual on this project. But delivering the best work with the best result is of course the goal for every project.


There was relatively little time available for the realization of the launch campaign - and that too in Lockdown 2.0. How should we imagine the creative process?

Koller: Three months doesn't sound like too little time. Especially in the lockdown, we and many other agencies have designed and implemented campaigns in a much shorter time. But what was added in this case was the new constellation - for everyone involved. Two client teams that had never worked together before, and an agency that had previously only worked with one of the two brands. It was a matter of getting used to new processes, specifications and, not least, people in a very short time. And this worked incredibly well and smoothly.

Lübke: Especially during the conception phase of the project, the cadence was very high. Almost daily we were in creative exchange with Sunrise and UPC to get the campaign on the ground as quickly as possible. In this context, the home office requirement due to the lockdown didn't necessarily make the work easier, but it certainly made it more flexible: a video call with ten participants can usually be organized faster and with less effort than having to physically bring the same group together. Apart from that, the creative process went more or less as usual: fast, orchestrated, and with the expected share of the unexpected.


It is often difficult enough for agencies to coordinate with "one" brand customer. Did Sunrise and UPC already work as one company when it came to coordinating agency work - or were you actually still dealing with two companies here? 

Koller: The coordination and exchange with us was extremely well orchestrated on the part of the customer. Of course, everyone involved initially had to get used to the new situation. But this turned out to be very natural and harmonious after the briefing. The nice thing about the campaign is that both brands get a platform and thus appear individually but together.

Lübke: Not necessarily with two companies, but with people from what used to be two different corporate cultures. Above all, this meant that fundamental decisions often had to be made on the spot: Do we communicate on TV in Swiss or High German? Do the two brands have fixed positions within the layouts or do we alternate? And above all: Which brand elements are used to enable a harmonious "together" and which are dispensed with? These were all very exciting questions that had to be answered.


Both brands retain a certain independence in communication. What considerations led you to do it this way? 

Koller: Both companies still exist in the market, serve their existing customers and are happy to welcome new ones. The campaign is a foretaste, so to speak, of what's to come. And it is intended to show that the customers of one brand are already benefiting from the respective other provider.

Lübke: Both brands have a strong starting position and enjoy a great deal of trust among their respective customers. The fact that both brands also occupy an equal position in the campaign makes it clear at first glance that two harmoniously complementary companies are coming together. So for both Sunrise and UPC customers, there is above all reason to rejoice.


Of course, the emphasis on "more" in the campaign is striking. It would seem logical to interpret this as "More than before...". Is there also a hidden joke against the competition here? 

Koller: If that's how you interpret it, then there's probably something to it. In any case, the new telecommunications provider has a lot of plans. Challenger status, that was once upon a time. And I'm convinced that people in Switzerland can look forward to a new, strong provider. One that will challenge the status quo more than ever before and will bring with it the ambition and self-image to stand up to the number 1 in Switzerland with great offers, outstanding service and top-notch technologies. This can only be in the interest of the free market - and thus only benefit consumers.

Lübke: Not that I know of. Or that I am allowed to say so here. The "more" refers primarily to the simple formula "1+1=3" - the whole is more than the sum of its parts. When the fastest and most reliable 5G network in Switzerland is connected to the GigNet, and the two entertainment services are connected to each other, then that is more than just a little bit more. It is then very quickly much more for everyone.

Responsible at Sunrise and UPC: Stefan Fuchs (CMO), Andreas Caluori (Director Brand Management & Communications), Anna Leutar (Senior Marketing Manager Consumer Brand Communication) Laura Ballestrin (Manager Marketing Communication), Graziella Gut (Marketing Communication Manager), Andreas Jäggi (Marketing Manager Consumer Brand). Responsible at Publicis: Matthias Koller (Managing Director), David Lübke, Pablo Schencke, Peter Brönnimann (Creative Direction), Roger Oberholzer (Executive Strategy Director), Cosima Pereira-Köster (Senior Art Director), Mathias Bart (Senior Copywriter), Jan Theus (Art Director), Hannah Züttel (Junior Art Director) Sandro Looser (Senior Account Director), Ante Vidovic, Daniel Scheerle (Account Director). Team Prodigious: Pre press, litho, image editing, motion, interviews making-of, programming, realization and production consulting. Production: Pumpkin Film (film production), Ben Strebel (director), Jan Mettler (camera), Stefanie Brand (producer), Ballad (music), Jingle Jungle (soundtrack), Webrepublic (media & digital assets), Mediatonic (media).

More articles on the topic